Effective therapy can prevent or delay diabetic complications.1,2 However, about 28 percent of Americans with DM are undiagnosed, and another 86 million American adults have blood glucose levels that greatly increase their risk of developing type 2 DM in the next several years.3 Diabetes complications tend to be more common and more severe among people whose diabetes is poorly controlled, which makes DM an immense and complex public health challenge. Preventive care practices are essential to better health outcomes for people with diabetes.4
^ Seida JC, Mitri J, Colmers IN, Majumdar SR, Davidson MB, Edwards AL, Hanley DA, Pittas AG, Tjosvold L, Johnson JA (October 2014). "Clinical review: Effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on improving glucose homeostasis and preventing diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 99 (10): 3551–60. doi:10.1210/jc.2014-2136. PMC 4483466. PMID 25062463.
“We usually see patients quarterly for appointments, which means the other 361 days of the year, they’re on their own,” says endocrinologist Amber Champion, MD, at Great Plains Health in North Platte, Nebraska. “They need to have the knowledge and tools to take care of themselves. Diabetes-related apps can be useful to help keep track of all the data and see it visually. They can also help educate and teach patients to spot trends and keep their data organized.”
Another diabetes-related sexual dysfunction symptom in men is reduced amounts of ejaculation, or retrograde ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation is a condition in which the semen goes into the bladder, rather than out of the body through the urethra. Diabetes and damage to the blood vessels causes nerve damage to the muscles that control the bladder and urethra, which results in this problem.
Dietary factors also influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks in excess is associated with an increased risk. The type of fats in the diet are important, with saturated fats and trans fatty acids increasing the risk, and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat decreasing the risk. Eating a lot of white rice appears to play a role in increasing risk. A lack of exercise is believed to cause 7% of cases. Persistent organic pollutants may play a role.
Exercise. Exercising helps your body use insulin and lower your blood sugar level. It also helps control your weight, gives you more energy, and is good for your overall health. Exercise also is good for your heart, your cholesterol levels, your blood pressure, and your weight. These are all factors that can affect your risk of heart attack and stroke. Talk with your doctor about starting an exercise program.
Cons: MySugr doesn’t sync with blood glucose meters, but Apple users can use the MySugr Scanner app to scan and import readings, though the app can be glitchy. Does not sync with insulin pumps. To generate health reports as PDFs, you must buy MySugr PRO. The MySugr Coaching feature—a nice touch—is available only on Apple devices, and it can take a couple of hours to a few days to be able to text with a health coach through the app.
Along with following your diabetes care plan, you may need diabetes medicines, which may include pills or medicines you inject under your skin, such as insulin. Over time, you may need more than one diabetes medicine to manage your blood glucose. Even if you don’t take insulin, you may need it at special times, such as during pregnancy or if you are in the hospital. You also may need medicines for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other conditions.
The WHO estimates that diabetes mellitus resulted in 1.5 million deaths in 2012, making it the 8th leading cause of death. However another 2.2 million deaths worldwide were attributable to high blood glucose and the increased risks of cardiovascular disease and other associated complications (e.g. kidney failure), which often lead to premature death and are often listed as the underlying cause on death certificates rather than diabetes. For example, in 2017, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimated that diabetes resulted in 4.0 million deaths worldwide, using modeling to estimate the total number of deaths that could be directly or indirectly attributed to diabetes.
This app focuses on tracking carbs, as well protein, fat, and calories, with a database of foods and a bar-code scanner. You can also log your meals with photos and voice memos. It lets you set and track a weight loss goal, as well as log exercise, though syncing with fitness trackers requires an upgrade to the subscription service. Note that this app includes features for those following a low-carbohydrate diet or the ketogenic diet, and Ilkowitz notes that these types of diets aren’t appropriate for everyone, so be cautious about taking dietary advice from an app and check with your doctor, dietitian, or certified diabetes educator before making changes to your diet.
Type 2 diabetes does not have a clear pattern of inheritance, although many affected individuals have at least one close family member, such as a parent or sibling, with the disease. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with the number of affected family members. The increased risk is likely due in part to shared genetic factors, but it is also related to lifestyle influences (such as eating and exercise habits) that are shared by members of a family.
A: Fasting plasma glucose and weight change 2 years after randomization either to gastric banding or to intensive medical therapy for weight loss and glucose control. Data plotted with permission from Dixon et al. (13). B: Early changes in fasting plasma glucose level following pancreatoduodenal bypass surgery. A decrease into the normal range was seen within 7 days. Reproduced with permission from Taylor (98).
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You’ll find just about everything you might want to track in this app: blood glucose, insulin, medication, meals, water intake, and physical activity. It comes with a built-in bar-code scanner and a food database to tally up your nutrient intake. Also included is a GPS tracker to log distances for walking, running, or bicycling. It will remind you to check your blood sugar, and it will give you summary reports to help you understand the relationships between blood sugar, diet, and exercise. Add the app’s subscription for a few premium features, including syncing with fitness trackers. (The current subscription cost is $8.99 per month or $59.99 per year.)
Lifestyle factors are important to the development of type 2 diabetes, including obesity and being overweight (defined by a body mass index of greater than 25), lack of physical activity, poor diet, stress, and urbanization. Excess body fat is associated with 30% of cases in those of Chinese and Japanese descent, 60–80% of cases in those of European and African descent, and 100% of cases in Pima Indians and Pacific Islanders. Among those who are not obese, a high waist–hip ratio is often present. Smoking appears to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
These diabetes complications are related to blood vessel diseases and are generally classified into small vessel disease, such as those involving the eyes, kidneys and nerves (microvascular disease), and large vessel disease involving the heart and blood vessels (macrovascular disease). Diabetes accelerates hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) of the larger blood vessels, leading to coronary heart disease (angina or heart attack), strokes, and pain in the lower extremities because of lack of blood supply (claudication).
The primary complications of diabetes due to damage in small blood vessels include damage to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Damage to the eyes, known as diabetic retinopathy, is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina of the eye, and can result in gradual vision loss and eventual blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of having glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems. It is recommended that diabetics visit an eye doctor once a year. Damage to the kidneys, known as diabetic nephropathy, can lead to tissue scarring, urine protein loss, and eventually chronic kidney disease, sometimes requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. Damage to the nerves of the body, known as diabetic neuropathy, is the most common complication of diabetes. The symptoms can include numbness, tingling, pain, and altered pain sensation, which can lead to damage to the skin. Diabetes-related foot problems (such as diabetic foot ulcers) may occur, and can be difficult to treat, occasionally requiring amputation. Additionally, proximal diabetic neuropathy causes painful muscle atrophy and weakness.
Onset of type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented through proper nutrition and regular exercise.[needs update] Intensive lifestyle measures may reduce the risk by over half. The benefit of exercise occurs regardless of the person's initial weight or subsequent weight loss. High levels of physical activity reduce the risk of diabetes by about 28%. Evidence for the benefit of dietary changes alone, however, is limited, with some evidence for a diet high in green leafy vegetables and some for limiting the intake of sugary drinks. There is an association between higher intake of sugar-sweetened fruit juice and diabetes but no evidence of an association with 100% fruit juice. A 2019 review found evidence of benefit from dietary fiber.
How long will diabetes stay away after weight loss? Long-term normal blood glucose control in previously diabetic individuals after bariatric surgery demonstrates that diabetes does not recur for up to 10 years, unless substantial weight gain occurs (86). These observations are consistent with the twin cycle hypothesis and the existence of a trigger level for adverse metabolic effects of fat in the pancreas. Hence, for a given individual with type 2 diabetes, reducing the liver and pancreas fat content below his or her personal trigger levels would be expected to result in a release from the fatty acid–mediated dysfunction. Individual tolerance of different degrees of fat exposure vary, and understanding this liposusceptibility will underpin the future understanding of genetically determined risk in any given environment. However, this should not obscure the central point: If a person has type 2 diabetes, there is more fat in the liver and pancreas than he or she can cope with.
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are age 45 or older, have a family history of diabetes, or are overweight. Physical inactivity, race, and certain health problems such as high blood pressure also affect your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. You are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you have prediabetes or had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant. Learn more about risk factors for type 2 diabetes.